Read the Biblical account of Peter denying Jesus here
I have a lot of moments frozen in time in my life. Some of them are fond memories. The moment my daughters actually came into this world, different memories from my wedding day. Graduating from college. I also have some memories that aren’t so good. The day my dad called to tell me that my mom had passed, my “big” car wreck. I’ll spare you all the gory details of my more personal failures and the frozen moments spent hurting people close to me.
Have you ever wondered about Peter? Seriously, have you ever wondered what Good Friday was like for him five years after Christ’s death? Did he have the moment frozen in time where he betrayed Jesus? Did it play in his mind, over and over again? He was human, it had to.
As I age, I ponder the wisdom that comes with age and I realize the price that is often paid for it. I often find myself pondering the early church fathers, especially the disciples. We like to hit on Peter but the truth is they all denied Christ. When they would take part in communion how did the movie in their mind go about the last supper? When Peter would hear whatever invectives he used to deny Christ was he instantly transported back to that dark night? Could he smell the fires that were lit around the court yard? Could he feel the bile rise in the back of his throat? What about when he went to put the clothes that he wore that night back on was he transported back to that moment?
Whatever personal regret and demons he may have wrestled with, it certainly didn’t stop him form sharing the gospel. They didn’t stop him from actively making the disciples of all men. At the end, his fervent belief in Jesus as Messiah cost him his life.
Maybe that is the ultimate message of Peter’s life. He was a living illustration of the fact that we don’t have to live in our “frozen moments.” Jesus died and rose again so you and I can live with a hope. We can live with forgiveness. We can live in a right relationship with Him. We don’t have to agonize over past failures because He paid the price. The debt is paid. Christ conquered death. That is the beauty of this weekend. Jesus died and rose from the dead. His tomb is empty.
Because of that, you and I can live the lives He has called us to live today. Whatever it is, that haunts you at night when no one else is around, whatever it is that you look back at with great regret, you can be free of it. Christ has paid for it. You’ll never be able to make up for it anyhow. Let it go. Jesus died to save all of you, He paid all of your debt. May you rest in that truth today as you celebrate Good Friday in your corner of the world.